Sample Entry

Altogether the History of Congregations database contains the histories of over 600 congregations.

As an example of what the database includes, the following is the information contained in the entry for Ballinderry Presbyterian Church, County Antrim.

History The first settlement in this neighbourhood was at Glenavy. In Feb. 1672 the Presbytery of Antrim sent one of their number to examine what encouragement there was for the settlement of a minister. In April Robert Scott and John Johnston appeared as commissioners at the Presbytery and they were recommended to build a meeting-house and manse. In August the people obtained a hearing of Mr. Archibald Young (lic. Antrim) and they presented him with a call in the September following, promising to give him ?30 per annum, and to provide him with a house and garden. He proceeded with his second trials; but in May 1673 he had a call to Downpatrick, which the Presbytery permitted him to accept, and he removed there in June.
In September of the same year the people presented a call to Mr. Matthew Haltridge which he accepted; and in February 1674 their commissioner, John Ferguson, promised for his support ?25 per annum, with a sufficiency of turf and a manse. With the exception of a visit to Cork in June and July, he continued to supply the congregation till December, when, the people having failed in their promises to him, the Presbytery freed him from the charge of this place. He was afterwards settled in Ahoghill; and Glenavy was thus again left vacant.
In Jan. 1683 Mr. David Airth, another Scot, is found settled in this parish, having been ordained here some time in the interval between 1675 and that date. His support being small and badly paid, he was declared transportable in Aug. 1685; and in June 1694 he removed to a charge in Scotland. The congregation was now long vacant.
The next minister, Mr. John Riddel (lic. Down) was ordained by the Presbytery of Belfast on 12 Mar. 1701. In 1712 he was prosecuted as a nonjuror. In 1713 the congregation of Ballinderry, as it at present exists, was formed, part from Glenavy and some from Moira, while the greater part of Glenavy was incorporated into a later erection at Crumlin. Mr. Riddel was still alive in 1728 and a minister without charge. The commissioners from Ballinderry to the Synod were Arthur Maxwell, Esq., a great benefactor of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr. Ferguson and Thomas Beatty. Their first minister after their separation was Mr. John Hasty (lic. Belfast) who was ordained on 11 Jul. 1724. He died while minister here on 6 Apr. 1743.
Mr. Clotworthy Brown (lic. Templepatrick), son of Rev. Alex. Brown of Donegore, was ordained here on 5 Feb. 1746, and was of the nonsubscribing party. He did not stay long, resigning on 4 Aug. 1747, but even his short stay prompted the organisation of the Secession cause in the neighbourhood (Magheragall). He removed to Ballynure and was followed by Mr. William Rowan (lic. Killyleagh) who was ordained on 30 Oct. 1751. He was disannexed from his charge for marrying people clandestinely who were not under his care, and resigned in July 1783 and died in 1795. Mr. Robert Carlisle (lic. Belfast) was ordained in Sept. 1784, and later relieved of his charge on 6 May 1794 because of mental infirmity, and Mr. William Whitlaw (lic. Belfast) became his successor in Aug. 1794.
After Mr. Whitlaw’s ministry of 32 years Mr. John Shaw (lic. Belfast) became his assistant and successor on 6 Feb. 1826. He resigned when called to Ballynahinch on 10 Aug. 1831. On 17 Apr. 1833 Mr. Henry Leebody (lic. Bangor) became assistant to the Rev. William Whitlaw who died on 11 Jan. 1836. Mr. Leebody also obtained an assistant and Mr. James Meeke (lic. Belfast) was ordained on 24 May 1877. Mr.. Leebody, whose son became Professor of Mathematics and later President of Magee College, Derry, died on 17 May 1879.
After retiring from active duty on 15 Sept. 1927, Mr. Meeke died suddenly on 21 Sept. 1928. The Union Commission then decided that Rev. Robert George McFarland, minister of Moira, should undertake the pastoral oversight of Ballinderry for a trial period of twelve months, with a view to possible union if it proved to be satisfactory. The union came about and Mr. McFarland was installed in Ballinderry on 14 Mar. 1929. He died on 26 Aug. 1937.
(Further see: MOIRA and BA LLINDERRY)